experimental filmmaking: in free flow – gathering, editing, sharing

day four: a practical filmmaking day. today we were asked to go out with our cameras and gather footage to work with towards making a short film. using the ‘exquisite corpse’ format, we were given some parameters to organise our material and make a short film – to be 5-6 mins, have 30-60 pieces of footage (still or moving), have no sound unless essential, use no music, be ready by 1pm tomorrow, with screening at 2pm and then discussion. the ‘exquisite corpse’ format has its origins in the surrealist movement as a way to structure work, be it written or visual. it is a useful way to begin the process of gathering, making and finishing work. in terms of gathering, follow our instinct and what we are drawn to, without over thinking – something will emerge. when it comes to the editing process, it can be helpful to look on our footage as found material. this can allow us to be ‘other’ to ourselves and helps to free us up, work in new ways, permit us to do things and see the footage in a new light. adopt the strategy ‘me as seen by the other’ like a mirror to our self. embark on a journey – to return home, find home, eliminate home … you decide. be experiential not illustrative or descriptive – the film is the thing itself, the film making is cinema itself. free ourselves from synchronicity – the occurrence of meaningful coincidence that seem to have no cause.

some of my gathering
some of my editing

reflection: i had a bit of an idea about what i would be gathering before heading out but as i went out with my cameras (DSLR, Gopro, phone) i was drawn to snippets of nature in the urban manmade city. i was sure this was where i would be heading in the editing process. however, once editing began, the focus of light and shade emerged and took off as i began to import on the timeline. i went with this very loosely and almost subconsciously – trying hard not to form too many rules about what i should use, for how long etc. soon, a rhythm emerged and seemed to suggest when and at what pace to bring something in. working in black and white also suggested itself and i played around with this in positive and negative. i began layering these – the results being surprising and unexpected – almost like developing black and white analogue photos. towards the end of the first day of editing, i knew something about the film – some kind of response to my photophobia that plagued me all week and in particular on this very bright sunny day. day four ended with a lot done in a very loose and free flow of ideas and images.

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